MASSDEVICE ON CALL — A list of common medical procedures and their prices may change the way physicians deliver care and determine referrals at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass.
Knowing the cost of procedures, intended to lead to reflection and conversation about what procedures are appropriate and in what situations, has some doctors concerned and even upset over some routine practices.
"[W]hen you send someone to an ear, nose and throat [specialist], something like 80 to 90 percent of the time they get a flexible scope of their sinuses," David Ives, primary care doctor and the medical director of Affiliated Physicians Group told NPR.
The device uses a flexible cord and camera, but Ives says it’s rarely better than the old-fashioned method of looking into a patient’s nose or throat – and it costs 10 times more than the physical exam.
"It’s just done because the technology is there," Ives told NPR. "Is there value added for that? And I thought, probably not. And that might someday dissuade me from referring to someone who does a lot of those."
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